The spine allows you to stand up straight and move. The spine also protects your spinal cord from being hurt. In people with spinal stenosis, the spinal canal is narrowed in one or more of three parts:
- The space at the center of the spine
- The canals where nerves branch out from the spine
- The space between vertebrae (the bones of the spine).
This narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves and can cause pain. The spinal nerves become inflamed and fail to function properly.
- Pain in the neck or back
- Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in the arms or legs
- Pain going down the leg
- Foot problems
- Loss of control of the bowel or bladder
- Problems having sex
- Pain, weakness, or loss of feeling in one or both legs.
Abnormal loading of the disc as a result of abnormal spinal alignment causes nuclei pulposi to shift creating a concentrated focal pressure to eventually break down the annulus fibers. Decrease motion of the spinal joints as a result of improper spinal alignment causes dehydrates and weakening of the spinal disc. This causes irritation to the nerves resulting in localized and radiating back pain. Thickened ligaments. The tough cords that help hold the bones of your spine together can become stiff and thickened over time. These thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal.
Car accidents, falls and other trauma can cause dislocations, fractures, spondylolisthesis and ligament damage of one or more vertebrae. Displaced bone from a spinal ligament injury or fracture may damage and irritation to the contents of the spinal canal and spinal nerves.
Wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones can prompt the formation of bone spurs, which can grow into the spinal canal and spinal nerve root foramen.
Xrays of a patient with symptoms as a result from a spinal stenosis The patient came into the clinic with neck and low back pain, pain and stiffness in the back, and difficulties in walking. After the treatment course, the patient has significant improvement symptomatically, structurally and functionally.